Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Compelling Pitch

Mark Fabish

The new Columbia coaching staff has just completed its first national recruiting tour. I feel confident in saying that the high school coaches and parents are seeing something very different than what Columbia’s recruiters have offered before: skin in the game.

By that I mean we have assistant coaches who truly know the Ivy League better than the Columbia recruiters of the past. Some know the league as former Ivy players, others know the league as accomplished assistant coaches, and some know it as both former Ivy players and long-time assistant coaches. I also mean they have a compelling case to make for Columbia on a very personal level.

For example, Associate Head Coach/Wide Receivers Coach Mark Fabish can tell prospective recruits, their parents and their coaches that he believes in Columbia and Head Coach Al Bagnoli so much that he left his job with his alma mater Penn to be a part of this program. Secondary Coach Jon Poppe can say he left the Ivy League’s most dominant program at Harvard to be a part of the Lions because he believes in this quest. Tight Ends Coach Joe D’Orazio can say he left a good young career in the NFL for a chance to work with Bagnoli and his abilities to change things at Columbia.

There are more names and scenarios to add to the above list, but these guys are impressive because they aren’t asking prospective players to make a bigger commitment than these recruiters already have.

I believe the Lions will be better this fall  regardless, but the real test of the Bagnoli era is what he and his staff are able to bring in for the 2016 and 2017 freshmen classes. And the hard work to pass that test is really underway. There’s no nice way to say the team needs a lot more talent, but there it is. And it’s also true that Columbia has endured many losing seasons even with a good deal of talent on the field, (think 2009 for example). But there’s no more important factor in winning than talent on the field. And as well as Bagnoli has managed things on game days and as many wins and championships he’s squeezed out of the not-most-talented teams, the  recruiting battles are really the key to winning no matter what college football team you’re talking about.

And so it’s time to be confident about the future because not only does Columbia now have recruiters with a great track record, but they should come off even more effectively than they did in the past now that they have that compelling personal “buy-in” story to tell about this program. When I buy a car from a salesman, I want to know that he owns the same car too. In essence, these recruiters don’t just have one “Columbia car,” they have two. 


RLB said...

In view of the following from a reliable source, let's hope they didn't tout the 6:1 ratio:

Class sizes range from 6 students to 500 with small discussion sections to make sure students have one-on-one attention. Many classes have between 15-40 students.

RLB said...

Official list of recruits:


Coach said...

Jake - I agree with you that it looks like a good group of recruiters, with half the group of Ivy League backgrounds. But the real "recruiting battle", as you call it, is the institutional battle that has to be won- admissions, financial aid, facilities,etc. and the Ivy League banding system, that works against Columbia.
Columbia has made a giant step forward with this coaching group- now let's get the other pieces in order.

oldlion said...

Official its is out.

oldlion said...

Pardon the typo. Meant to say official list is out.